Improving Business Communication with Plain English
Let's bird table to brainstorm for buzzworthy ideas to ramp up sales in the March time frame.
Employees are hereby informed that company vehicle usage is permitted only with prior information to the undersigned.
Our mission is to strategically synergize our core competencies to utilize the online medium to maximum advantage.
Do jargon-laden emails/memos/reports like these do the rounds in your company? Do the recipients have a hard time figuring out what they mean? More importantly, does anyone want to read them?
Wouldn’t it work better if you simply said this instead?
Let’s meet to discuss ideas to increase sales in March.
Please inform me before using company vehicles.
We want to use our skills to profitably use the internet.
Deciphering the code
In many organizations, business communication happens in a dialect of its own. It swings between snappy corporate buzzwords and pompous officialese instead of simple, direct and clear English.
Besides sounding clichéd and pretentious, this style of communication costs time, effort and money. Worse, it is open to misinterpretation because no one is quite sure what it means. This could alienate your clients and business partners instead of reaching out to them.
What’s the solution?
Consider switching to plain English. Plain English is just what its name suggests – plain, no-frills English, minus jargon, difficult words and complicated constructions. It gets the message across quickly and easily, freeing the writer and the reader to focus on the content rather than grappling with its form.
How can plain English benefit us?
The plain English movement is gaining momentum the world over. Even traditionalist old-school government departments are giving up impersonal bureaucratese for a friendly and direct tone. As businesses operate internationally, plain English has become the common, easily understood mode of communication. Adopting plain English in your organization will not only improve internal communication, but also ease interaction with customers and stakeholders across the world.
How can plain English express the complex information we deal with?
Plain English is not a childish or amateurish style of writing. The most complex subject matter can be communicated in such a way that readers understand it easily. Plain English cuts out elements that block effective communication, helping you present complex information in a clear, orderly way. In a busy corporate environment, it is simply more efficient and functional.
How can our employees change the way they communicate?
Chillibreeze offers a comprehensive online course to train employees in plain English. Using a ‘learn-by-doing’ format, it highlights common errors in business communication, replacing them with clear, straightforward language. Each section of the course focuses on a particular area, using before and after examples and exercises to recap and reinforce each plain English guideline. A test at the end of the course assesses the employees’ proficiency in switching over to plain English.
Plain English is global English. Using plain English will help your organization stay current and connect with clients across the world. To know more about plain English, check out A Quick Guide to Plain English.
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